Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad Tips for Criminals

Having watched a number of movies and TV shows about cops and criminals in the 1970s, it has become clear to me that Hollywood has been in league with the government in an attempt to spread misinformation to trick criminals. This is because of a number of TV/Film cliches that were propogated around this time:

1) The theory that if someone asks an undercover policeman if they're a cop, the policeman has to say so. What sort of idiot could believe this? Obviously no undercover operation would work if it could be foiled by someone simply saying "wait, nobody here is secretly a cop, are they?"

2) The theory that if in hot pursuit by the local law, they have to stop chasing you if you cross county lines. This would be terrific news for criminals robbing banks that are located close to county or state borders! Just step over the line and you're home free!

3) If you don't read a suspect his rights, he's off scott-free. While the Miranda warnings are required for custodial interrogations, it is only certain evidence--namely, the admissions given during the interrogation--that could be excluded from trial. All other evidence is still good.

4) Putting a silencer on the end of a revolver will do any good. The noise from a revolver comes out of the side of the gun, not the end of the barrel.

5) Every criminal gets a free phone call. You may have to bring your own quarter for the phone!


  1. how does point #1 work in regards to entrapment?

  2. If I remember correctly, whether a defendant was "entrapped" depends on the degree to which their criminal act was caused by the government (undercover cop's) action. So if you're minding your own business, undercover cop offers to sell you crack and you agree to buy it, you may be able to argue entrapment. (Though the Supreme Court has weighed heavily on the government's side on this) However, the cop isn't required to tell you his true identity just because you ask him.